Sunday, October 31, 2010


We had a ton of kids come trick or treating to the house tonight. Some were in full regalia, others (the older ones) often in just the barest hint of a costume. Then there was the kid who didn't have a costume but was brazen enough to fake it ("I'm dressed as a skateboarder but forgot my skateboard" he says). I always loved Halloween, first because of the costumes and candy, and then the fun of giving away candy. One of my favorite books when I was growing up was "The Halloween Tree" by Ray Bradbury. I even named my second cat, Pipkin, after the character who goes missing in the book and must be pursued through time and to the edge of death itself by his friends. After the paperback I'd been given when I was 10 finally fell apart a few years ago, I went online and found a hardbound copy signed by Bradbury and bought it.

Last year at this time, we were in the final stages of pulling together our profile and home study materials. We didn't know what to expect but I think we both dreamed that by Halloween this year, we wouldn't just be handing out candy to kids but we'd be bundling a little one up as a peanut or a pumpkin or a tiny Red Sox player. Unfortunately, it looks like we need to set out sights on Halloween next year. I know our profile hasn't been up even a year yet and that many adoptive parents wait a lot longer than that. But seeing the parents tonight walking their kids up to our front door, hearing the kids chant "trick or treat" without even the hint of potential vandalism if we don't hand over a snack sized Twizzler, just makes me wish even more that this would have been the year we could have started the whole costumed kid tradition.

But instead we wait. I wonder if there are any Twizzlers left?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Picture This

I read a somewhat distressing article today in the New York Times about the decline in sales of picture books for kids. It's not all bad, of course -- kids are moving on to chapter books earlier -- but the idea that picture books are deemed too simple or won't help a child develop seems laughable to me. Our house is full of books and quite a few of them are absolutely brilliant picture books. Watching a child read again and again a stunning book like David Weisner's Tuesday or the more challenging Flotsam, you can see their minds working as they build the story in their mind, flipping back and forth between pages, totally immersed. I'm certainly all for moving on to chapter books but even at 41 years of age, there's a joy and a magic in a picture book that will never go away.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

As readers of my other blog, Walks in the Marsh, may know, last year my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She fought like a trooper and with the help of amazing doctors, nurses, and medical treatments she beat it (none of us doubted that she would).

The relief at that news was overwhelming for all of us and that's why I'm walking in this year's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event on October 24 at Roger Williams Park in Providence. Other women and other families should all be given every chance to experience the relief and joy that comes at the end of the fear and heartache that appears when cancer steals stealthily into their lives. I hope to be the father of a little girl at some point in the future and I'd like that future to be one where she doesn't have to fear this particular spectre.

I encourage those of you in the region to come out for this walk. If you can't make it, I hope you'll consider making a donation to support our efforts to raise awareness and funds to support breast cancer research and treatment for our mothers, daughters, wives, sisters, aunts, friends, and coworkers.